Theses and Dissertations

Issuing Body

Mississippi State University


Xu, Jianzhong

Committee Member

Brenner, Devon

Committee Member

Hopper, Peggy

Committee Member

Morse, Linda

Date of Degree


Original embargo terms

MSU Only Indefinitely

Document Type

Dissertation - Campus Access Only


Curriculum and Instruction

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


College of Education


Department of Curriculum, Instruction and Special Education


The purpose of this study was to gain an in-depth understanding of student, parent and educator perceptions of the effectiveness of the Barton Reading Spelling System. Two research questions were addressed in the study: (a) what are the students’, parents’, and educators’ perceptions of BRSS? and (b) what issues influence the effectiveness of the BRSS? Findings for the first research question included (a) positive effect on spelling, (b) positive effect on decoding and print vocabulary, (c) positive effect on reading fluency, (d) positive effect on writing fluency, (e) positive effect on students’ confidence, (f) positive effect on students’ motivations to read and write, (g) positive influence on reading comprehension if comprehension problems due to decoding deficits, and (h) no effect on oral vocabulary. Findings for the second research question included (a) the methodology, layout and training of the BRSS had a positive influence; (b) tutors’ level of experience, consistency of tutoring, level of instruction, communication with others, value in the program, and relationship with the tutee had an influence; (c) student characteristics of ADHD had a negative influence; and (d) lack of tutor support, education to teachers and parents and application of skills outside of BRSS tutoring had a negative influence. Implications of the study included (a) effectiveness of the BRSS with remediating decoding issues and reading comprehension issues directly related to decoding problems; (b) need for more teacher education on remediating basic reading problems; (c) the careful selection and support of tutors for the BRSS; (d) need for communication and collaboration among all teachers, tutors, and parents of students on BRSS; and (e) need for additional studies on the BRSS in larger samples sizes and in different settings.